Sorry about the long delay between posts but we had an invasion of spam bots or whatever it is they’re called these days and it took a while to finally figure out where they were getting in—like rats through a keyhole. The exterminator has given us a clean bill of health so here we go again. If anyone detects a whiff of ratdom, kindly notify me immediately as exterminators are standing by.

I apologize if anyone of Russian descent is offended but the posts were mostly written in the Cyrillic alphabet therefore my assumption that the invasion was Russian. I hereby show my euro-western-centricity as the Cyrillic script is used in many countries in Eastern Europe as well as I think in some parts of Mongolia and Siberia. I’m counting on those of you who are scholarly to instruct me with the precise information.

I wish I had saved some of the “comments” as they were often ridiculously funny. At the time I wasn’t so amused while dealing over and over again for hours at a time with the unnamed big time server whose tech support might as well be paper cups and a string. I knew I was in big trouble when I had to explain in my sterling techno speak to “Robert,” as he called himself, how to navigate their own site. “See that little thingy on the side, the orange button thing, well click that.” You can see how well that worked out with all the time it took to finally get things back up and running sans rats.

© respective copyright holdersThe only comment I remember fairly well went something like this, “You so funny, ha ha, write some more funny stuff.” Thank you so much, Mr. Kremlinovsky. It is cheering to get your support.

As an interesting note, Major Malcolm spent part of WWI and after in Siberia and wrote quite a few adventure stories about it in various pulp fiction magazines. He was working in military intelligence as a liaison to the Japanese Embassy and was in the region of Vladivostok and Khabarovsk where the Americans, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, local Cossack warlords and Bolsheviks were all attempting to figure out who was going to ultimately be in charge. It was one of the defining moments in World History and the Major was right there. For any naysayers about MWN’s military service this is based on long hours spent scouring through the stacks of files in the National Archives.

Many thanks to Jon Berk for letting us keep his wonderful post up here, which many of you commented on the Facebook discussion page. Obviously much has happened in the interim—some sad and some grand and I’ll do my best to catch up as quickly as I can.